Sunday, January 18, 2009

A nice warm bath

Ahh, nice warm water!

Many people who know I have a backyard pond ask me what I do with the fish in the winter. "Do you bring them inside in winter?" No, folks, I don't have a 500 gallon fish tank in my house. "Then how do the fish survive?" How do they survive in the winter in any pond or lake? They lay low and wait till the water warms up!

We had a pretty powerful cold snap that has just broken in the past 24 hours. Before it began, I purchased a new pond heater to keep some open water for the bishies*(see below) benefit. Guidelines for ponds with fish say that even in freezing weather, an open area in the water must be kept, to keep gases from fish waste from becoming toxic to the fish. One of the added benefits for them is that the water around the heater is nice and warm, so they all gathered around it today. When I came out to take their picture, they were closer to it, but they moved away a little bit.

In my old pond(circa 1994-unknown), the fish would gather around the heater in a circle, with their little orange noses pointing toward the heater. This was a bigger pond with many more fish (lots of breeding went on in that pond!) They were all just trying to get a little bit of warmth in their cold environment. It formed a very pretty orange circle of fish bodies around the bright red heater, so cute,

So the poor fishies have a way to go to be in naturally warmed water, but until then, this will have to do. Enjoy your nice warm bath, *bishies!

*bish, def. cold blooded species, lives in water, identical to fish, pronunciation generated by little boy M, at age 2-1/2.

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